Letter: It all starts in preschool
In the editorial “The price of middle school popularity” (Monitor Opinion, June 30), the writer argues that parents need to teach their children “confidence, benevolence and individuality” for their future well-being, but may not know quite how to go about it.
Fortunately, research has shown one effective action parents can take to help ensure their children develop good behavior.
Scientists have long understood that the overwhelming majority of a child’s psychological and behavioral development occurs during the first five years of their life. Kids at that point in their life already begin to form habits in how they interact with others and in how they handle their emotions.
Research has shown that quality preschool education can be one of the most effective ways to develop young children’s social skills.
Formal pre-kindergarten education can be huge in the formation of positive character traits – such as perseverance, confidence, self-control and conscientiousness – and these traits continue into adulthood.
Sadly, not nearly enough children have access to high-quality preschool education. A step in the right direction would be the passage of the Strong Start for America’s Children Act, now pending in Congress.
This bill would help expand access to quality education, and in the long run would help children develop the social skills they need to succeed.